Hazel Edwards: Traversing the Design Disciplines — A Lifelong Journey

A series of birds eye view neighborhood plan drawings of Framingham, MA

Urban Design Studio, Framingham, MA Project by Hazel Edwards at Harvard Graduate School of Design, 1988 image / provided


This talk will present a personal design journey that has crossed architecture, urban design, city planning, and art.  Familial traditions, which exposed vastly different cultures with unique spatial identities, have influenced different scales of inquiry of places and people. How these fields converge will be shared through stories and examples grounded in teaching, scholarship, and practice over the past three decades.  


Hazel Ruth Edwards's unique career has combined place-based research with planning and urban design practice and teaching. She is a professor and past-chair of the Department of Architecture, College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University; she is the first woman to hold those positions since architecture education was established there in 1911. Prior to joining Howard University, she taught in the graduate architecture and city planning programs at Morgan State University's Institute of Architecture and Planning and at The Catholic University of America's School of Architecture and Planning, where she served as director of the Master of City and Regional Planning program.  

She is the coauthor of The Long Walk: The Placemaking Legacy of Howard University, which traced the 129-year physical development of the campus as the framework for the upcoming Campus Plan.  The book has led to other work focused on uncovering the planning histories of historically black colleges and universities. 

She is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and was elected to their College of Fellows (FAICP) in 2018. She received Architectural Record's 2022 Women in Architecture Design Leadership, Educator Award. She was appointed to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts by President Joseph Biden in June 2021 and serves as its vice chair. 

Cosponsored by the Carl L. Becker House

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